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The Walt Disney Company's 100th Anniversary Celebration

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Celebrating 100 years is a significant milestone for any company, but for a brand as iconic and influential as Disney, the centennial celebrations would be nothing short of magical. It would be an opportunity for fans old and new to reminisce about their favorite Disney moments while looking forward to the future of the entertainment giant. While Disneyland Resort would be the heart of the celebration, other Disney parks around the world, such as Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland, would also have their own special events and attractions to mark the occasion.


The history of The Walt Disney Company is a tale of imagination, innovation, and evolution. Walt Disney's relentless pursuit of innovation, combined with the business acumen of his brother Roy, laid the foundation for what would become a global entertainment empire. The company's early years were marked by financial struggles, setbacks, and risks, but through vision and perseverance, the Disney brothers managed to shape the future of animation and entertainment.


Walt and Roy O Disney founded the Disney Brothers Studios in Hollywood, CA in 1923 followed by the creation of Mickey Mouse and the release of Steamboat Willie in 1928. Steamboat Wille was one of the first synchronized sound cartoons made in that era. In 1937, The first full-length animated feature film was released, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

1937 to 1954 was known as the Golden Age of Animation. The expansion into television and parks happened between 1955 and 1966. Disneyland opened its doors in 1955 and The Mickey Mouse Club and The Wonderful World of Disney entered the TV era in 1957. Sadly, Walt Disney, the legendary co-founder of the Walt Disney Company and a pioneer in the American animation industry, passed away on December 15, 1966. From 1984 to 2005, the Disney Corporation experienced a Renaissance and expansion. Michael Eisner took over as CEO in 1984 and led an expansion of the company's theme parks both domestically and globally. In 1996 Disney acquired ABC, resulting in the creation of media networks like ESPN and others under the Disney umbrella. Most recently, Disney also acquired Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm while also launching its streaming platform, Disney+, and also acquired 21st Century Fox, gaining assets like Avatar, The Simpsons, and X-Men.

During the 100th Celebration, guests of the Disney parks will encounter new and exciting attractions and magical theming from merchandise, food, shows, and parades. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway opened during the 100th anniversary and The attraction has been praised for its innovative technology, charming storyline, and integration of classic characters with modern animation techniques. It's a blend of nostalgia and new-age technology that appeals to both long-time Disney fans and newcomers. World of Color-ONE, the new show that features the unique storytelling of Walt Disney happens at Disney's California Adventure, and the new nighttime show "Wonderous Journeys" features many, if not all, of Disney's animated films projected onto Sleeping Beauty Castle during a fantastic fireworks show. For a limited time, special merchandise and food featuring many different 100 celebration theming will grace the parks.

A few things to know before heading out to the resorts to celebrate Disney's 100th Anniversary.

  1. Start Planning Now!! This celebration is going to be one of the most popular times to visit the parks, so book early and definitely bring a lot of patience.

  2. Get a multi-day ticket so you can experience the magic without a lot of stress. Take your time and explore every inch of the parks because you don't want to miss anything when it comes to this celebration.

  3. Consider purchasing Genie+ to lessen wait times for rides and attractions so you can experience more of the magic.

  4. Think about utilizing on-property hotels in order to experience early entry into the parks. It is a different feeling being in the parks without the crowds to get that special photo in front of the castle.

  5. Learn how to use Mobile Order and Virtual Queues to make the most out of your Disney park adventures.

Today, The Walt Disney Company is a global entertainment behemoth with ventures in film, television, theme parks, merchandise, and other sectors. The company's evolution is a testament to its ability to adapt, innovate, and capture the imaginations of audiences worldwide.

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